Local News

  • US rushes freshwater to help Japan nuclear plant--video extra

    SENDAI, Japan (AP) — U.S. naval barges loaded with freshwater sped toward Japan's overheated nuclear plant on Saturday to help workers struggling to stem a worrying rise in radioactivity and remove dangerously contaminated water from the facility.

    Workers at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi plant have been using seawater in a frantic bid to stabilize reactors overheating since a tsunami knocked out the complex's crucial cooling system March 11, but fears are mounting about the corrosive nature of the salt in the water.

  • Libyan rebels take back oil town in westward push

    BREGA, Libya (AP) — Libyan rebels took back a key oil town on Sunday in their westward push toward the capital, seizing momentum from the international airstrikes that tipped the balance away from Moammar Gadhafi's military.

    Brega, a main oil export terminal in eastern Libya, fell to rebels after a skirmish late Saturday, said Ahmed Jibril, a rebel commander manning a checkpoint on the westernmost edge of town.

    "There are no Gadhafi forces here now, the rebels have Brega under their full control, it is free," Jibril said.

  • Qatar becomes 1st Arab country to fly over Libya--video extra

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Fellow Arab and African nations raised the international pressure Friday on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, with tiny Qatar flying the Arab world's first combat missions over his country and the African Union imploring him to move toward democratic elections.

    The military operation against Gadhafi, which on Friday included airstrikes by British and French jets, remains a U.S.-led operation, though NATO was preparing to assume at least some command and control responsibility within days.

  • LA county medical director found dead

    New Mexico State Police located the body of a woman in her mid to late 40s early Thursday afternoon near Ghost Ranch.

    Dr. Laura Kay, a resident of Rio Rancho, was Los Alamos County’s full-time medical director and provided programmatic oversight and training of the various components of the EMS system.

    Kay was the subject of a missing person alert that was issued at 11 p.m. Wednesday after she failed to return home from work, said Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Sleik.

    LAFD Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal Mike Thompson said this morning that Kay was invaluable in helping set up the emergency medical dispatch portion of the Police/Fire Consolidated Dispatch Center.

  • Smart Grid project on track despite Japan disaster

    Despite the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that has gripped its nation the past two weeks, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) remains on track with the Smart Grid project.

    NEDO and Japanese government officials traveled to Los Alamos last week to discuss the project.

    “Like everyone else, we were all stunned and saddened by the terrible tragedy in Japan. We fully expected that our planned meeting would be postponed; yet our Japanese partners came to New Mexico to work out the details of this project.  I can only express my admiration and respect for their dedication and strength. It is humbling,” Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Manager John Arrowsmith said.  

  • Report: Nuclear defects not being disclosed

    WASHINGTON — Companies that operate U.S. nuclear power plants are not telling the government about some equipment defects that could create safety risks, according to a report released Thursday.
    An audit by the inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also raised questions about the agency’s oversight, saying reporting guidelines for the nuclear industry are “contradictory and unclear.”
    Reflecting that confusion, the report said the NRC has not levied any civil penalties or significant enforcement actions against nuclear plant operators for lapses in reporting equipment defects in at least eight years.

  • Japanese nuke plant reactor breach 'grave and serious'--video extra

    TOKYO (AP) — A possible breach at Japan's troubled nuclear plant escalated the crisis anew Friday, two full weeks after an earthquake and tsunami first compromised the facility. The development suggested radioactive contamination may be worse than first thought, with tainted groundwater the most likely consequence.

    Japanese leaders defended their decision not to evacuate people from a wider area around the plant, insisting they are safe if they stay indoors. But officials also said residents may want to voluntarily move to areas with better facilities, since supplies in the tsunami-devastated region are running short.

  • Crews contain 70 percent of Colo. wildfire--video extra

    GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — About 8,500 people were ordered to leave their homes Thursday as the second major wildfire to erupt this week in an outlying Denver suburb blackened 2.5 square miles.

    Officials ordered the evacuation of homes within a 4-mile radius of the fire near Franktown, about 35 miles southeast of Denver.

    High winds quickly spread the fire through grasses, brush and trees dried out from months of below-normal moisture. Strong winds fueled several grass fires on the eastern plains, including one that charred 8 square miles 95 miles southeast of Denver and burned two wooden bridges and a barn.

  • Los Alamos Canyon Reservoir work begins

    Reconstruction of the Los Alamos Canyon Dam has begun, closing access to the area for all foot and vehicular traffic, according to the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities.
    The contractor, Kiewit, was given the Notice to Proceed, effective Monday. Dam reconstruction work will continue through the summer with completion slated for Nov. 15. For more information, see  www.losalamosnm.us/projects/utilities/Pages/LACanyonDamRestore.aspx.


  • Rules change on antelope licenses

    The Department of Game and Fish will conduct three public meetings in northeastern New Mexico this month to explain how landowners will be affected by new rules that change the way the state allocates private-land antelope licenses.
    The State Game Commission adopted the new rules affecting the Antelope Private Lands Use System, or A-PLUS, at its December 2010 meeting in Clovis.
    The rules were revised and adopted after consideration of Department recommendations, public comments during several commission meetings, more than 30 statewide public meetings, and hundreds of written public comments submitted over a period of more than two years.